Posted by: calloftheandes | April 3, 2017

Injuries as Mission Plane Crashes in Ecuador’s Jungle


Photo used with permission of Eco Amazonico (

By Ralph Kurtenbach

A pilot and his passengers were injured when a plane operated by Alas de Socorro Ecuador, (ADSE) crashed Wednesday, March 29 after takeoff in the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador in South America. ADSE is the Ecuadorian affiliate of the U.S.-based mission agency, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).

When the Quest Kodiak 9-passenger plane struck a river bed near Moretecocha in Ecuador’s eastern province of Pastaza, the pilot, Captain José Daniel Soria, and some of his six passengers sustained injuries, according to the Dirección General de Aviación Civil (DGAC) of Ecuador. Initial medical care was provided at Shell-Mera, with five of the seven released after treatment. Soria was subsequently transferred to a Quito hospital. On Thursday a seven-person team of investigators from Ecuador’s DCAC began investigating the crash. (video interview in Spanish)

Some of the Kodiak planes have been produced under Quest Aircraft’s Quest Mission Team (QMT) program, and several have been delivered to such organizations as MAF and Jungle Aviation and Radio Service (JAARS). Since 2013 ADSE has been flying its Quest Kodiak from Shell, where ASDE maintains its administrative offices and hangar, serving some 200 remote communities of the rain forest.

ADSE has been flying the skies of Ecuador since 1948, when MAF missionary pilot Nate Saint established a base at Shell and began assisting people of the jungle through flight, coupling his work with sharing the gospel of Christ. Ecuador’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has certified ADSE as an air taxi operator and as an Approved Maintenance Organization. Pilots and mechanics are licensed by the CAA.

About 20 years ago on September 14, 1997, a Cessna 185 plane slammed into a 9,500-foot mountain between Shell and Baños, killing ADSE’s Job Orellana, his brother, Walter, and MAF pilot Dan Osterhus. The pilots had been involved in a search-and-rescue mission to locate a commercial Cessna airplane, which had crashed in the same region a day earlier, killing its two occupants.

Photo used with permission of Eco Amazonico. (

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